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Tib Bits From Ubering in Los Angeles 2019

Updated on April 19, 2019
Bloodofkhan profile image

Jack of all trades, master of none, had to do side gigs to pay the bills. I have a lot of BS degrees/certificates.

Driving for Uber or Lyft

In Collateral....Max, a taxi driver dreams of a better life and faces death. Well, let me tell you about my experience driving for them...I have a 4.94 rating w Uber and a 5 with Lyft. I’m also meticulous like Max.

Why Uber / Lyft

In the beginning I signed up for Sidecar and Uber, needed to make some extra money. I really Sidecar because the Driver can set their minimum price and rate. So I got longer rides. Also, the rider can choose his/her driver. However, the best platform does not win.

I tried to become a US Postal Worker (should have chose to be a clerk). Failed, had to quit because of my gout. It was a 100 degree day in Whittier, CA that summer and I was sweating like a...

Anyway, with no air conditioner and trying to walk quickly, my ankles stared to swell.
However, I finished that day limping back.

Then I tried Life / Health Insurance. I joined a Company that had a good relationship with Unions. Failed again.

So, I'm back doing Uber / Lyft. Also, some Postmastes, Grubhub for a change of pace. Last summer, the Bird scooter was good when it was over $10 for each.

Now, I will try to go into Tech. However, at my age it's harder to learn. So learn as much technical stuff before the age of 30.

All those certificates / degrees don't matter if you can not use it...UCLA BA in Economics (took 1 graduate class in business), CA Real Estate Sales License, Series 7, CA Teaching Credentials (failed the writing the first time), Postal Exam 473, CA Life / Health Insurance License.

Well, good thing I can deal with people and clean up. I do Airbnb and have Superhost rating since 2016


She sat in the front seat

As an Uber driver, most of the riders sit in the back seat. One night in Hollywood, one lady, "K", sat in the front. The reason she said was it was more interesting to sit in the front and start a conversation. First she asked where I was from...Korea. Then she said, "I love you" and "thank you" in Korean, my home country.

Wow, that's pretty good I said, although her pronunciation was terrible. What impressed me was that she knew a few words from the Korean Mountain Rabbit song. I vaguely remember my mom singing this to me as a very young child and now makes a little sad and teary eyed that I cannot take care of her...she is in a nursing home because she has partial dementia.

Anyway, back to the story. She had learned over 20 languages to say "I love you" and "thank you". Of course she was from New York and I asked her speak in that accent and she did. But it wasn't as pronounced as on TV or from other New Yorkers I met. The LA life has made her accent slowly disappear.

She hated talking about work and the weather. She noticed that most Asians didn't react well with the "I love you"

Well it was positive experience but I don't recommend talking to most drivers in Los Angeles with the heavy traffic and crazy drivers. Just Hello and Good bye will suffice.


Street Parking in Los Angeles

Finding parking in Los Angeles is tough and watch out for "Except" rules. You can count on parking in yellowing loading zones to park for free on Sundays and after 7 pm, Monday thru Saturdays. However, look for the signs for exceptions.

It's getting tougher to find street parking now a days...last Saturday, I had to park over a mile away from the restaurant that I went to...so I Ubered it from there. Still cheaper than parking...now $15 and up to park in Koreatown LA.

When Ride Share was a novelty...now it's business...Sidecar was the best for drivers and riders but you can't please everyone
When Ride Share was a novelty...now it's business...Sidecar was the best for drivers and riders but you can't please everyone

Good Attorneys are hard to find

A few months a go I picked up a lady, "G" from a restaurant. She mentioned how her mom did not text her...she was running a little late. She was an alumnus from same high school as I and missed the opportunity to get her contact info. She was honest and straight forward and soon to be an attorney. It's difficult to find a honest attorney.

I did get a contact info for a good architect and stair builder. Wow, I should have stayed in Real Estate. I passed the Real Estate sales person right after college and decided to not stay the course.

What a waste of all those certificates/degrees I earned...

  1. UCLA BA (it is a BS degree...haha)
  2. Series 7 (lost my savings and home)
  3. Teaching Certificate (lost interest...stupid had to go to school 2 more years)
  4. Exam 473 (US Postal Exam)...had to quit...Gout attack


Uber or Lyft

Some drivers in Los Angeles do both...Uber 10 to 1
Some drivers in Los Angeles do both...Uber 10 to 1

Will Smith is a Generous Man

I always thought that Will Smith was a funny, generous person from his "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" days, rapping career to his block buster hits. I have a negative view of Steve Harvey with his anti white woman and Asian jokes. My take on Will Smith was confirmed when I gave a ride to a part time actor. He pushed for a raise for a certain over the hill actor and keep the smaller time actors pay the same. Usually when you pay more for another actor in the budget, other pay must be cut but Smith demanded that other smaller bit actors pay do not get cut.

Be logical and go into Tech

I met a person in the Tech field and got some useful info. He was originally from France but lived in England. I was right when I noticed his slight British accent. He now lives in SF but looking into living in LA for a few months. Thank you for the info...I forgot his name.

To learn some Tech languages, check out: codemy.com or for Apple Swift language: appcoda.com

Also, check out youtube.com

If you're dedicated to be a software engineer and not pay until you are employed, checkout: https://www.lambdaschool.com/

Advise to New Uber / Lyft Drivers

As of March 2019, Uber dropped their minimum ride fair you make from $3.75 to around $2...they have need to beat Lyft minimum fair of $2

So make sure you take advantage of the consecutive quests and bonuses.

Also, there is no need to get your LAX placard card. I spoke to one Uber driver without one and he gets plenty of local rides. Besides, traffic is getting worse at both LAX and Burbank airports. FYI, you need a LAX placard card to get rides to and from the airport.

I hate carpool rides, many times it's difficult finding the riders. So, if you want, you can stop new requests. I usually stop new requests after I pickup 2 people. One driver I met turns it off after one.

Go to the hot spots, usually Santa Monica and West Hollywood. Downtown LA is great too, but getting around there is tough.

Although riders rarely tip, it's a good idea to try to talk riders, give compliment if warranted. Of course some riders don't want to talk so you should be able to sense that. One good thing about driving for Uber / Lyft, it helped me talk a little more.

Some differences between Uber and Lyft:

  1. Wait time before charging:
    2 minutes Uber
    5 minutes Lyft
  2. Rider cancellation Fee:
    $3.75 Uber
    $5.00 Lyft
  3. Rating of rider:
    Uber must rate right after ride
    Lyft can rate a rider later on so you can give rider 3 and not deal with him/her again

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